Every year, so many of us make healthy eating resolutions. But, inevitably, the resolve to diet withers, and we go back to scarfing and feeling guilty.
So what’s the long-term solution?
“People need diners’ education just like they need drivers’ education,” says Carolyn O’Neil, a dietitian and author of “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!” (Atria Books).
“Nutrition advice, especially at the beginning of the year, when people have such great intentions, is often associated with a list of foods you’re not supposed to eat,” O’Neil says. “Cut back on salt and sugar and fat. No desserts. No french fries. It’s a list of negatives.”
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She likes to take a more positive approach.
“We’re in a new age of nutrition discovery, and as a dietitian, I’d much rather people focus on what they should be adding to their diets,” O’Neil says. “Try adding more whole grains, for instance, which have more nutrients and fiber. Maybe you get brown rice instead of white rice with your sushi. Maybe you’re ordering a pizza and you get a whole grain crust.”
O’Neil’s advice is to add a wider variety of whole grains and leafy greens.
“Try quinoa, if you haven’t tried it yet,“ O’Neil says. ”It’s so easy to make because it cooks in just a few minutes. Kale was the big star last year, but other greens are becoming popular again, including everything from Swiss chard to turnip greens and Asian mustard greens.”